Consumers and retailers are both concerned about deliveries this festive season. Consumers are expecting fast, free, and reliable shipping while retailers are extending delivery times, increasing delivery fees, and working with new delivery partners to cope with rising costs and lack of staff.
Not meeting consumer expectations will have negative impact on conversion. So, what should retailers consider in an attempt to provide excellent delivery service?
Consumers have become accustomed to ultra-fast shipping with services such as Amazon’s same day Prime shipping delivering products withing hours of purchase. New age shoppers are looking for similar on demand deliveries to satisfy their needs and desires instantly. In fact, 42% of UK consumers are even willing to ditch their cart if delivery is too slow.
This time of year, there are many last-minute Christmas shoppers who will also be expecting quick deliveries to purchase gifts and decorations.
Delays in deliveries will lead to retailers losing customers’ loyalty overtime as 75% of consumers said they will abandon retailers over poor delivery service and 72.5% will not recommend the retailer to others.
Unfortunately, SendCloud’s survey reveals that 41% of UK shoppers are currently experiencing delays, 22% of which were not even warned of the delays. Moreover, a whopping 71% have had negative delivery experiences such as delays, incorrect time slots, incorrect tracking information, parcels left in insecure locations, or not arriving at all.
Transparency and clear communication from retailers is going to help build trust between the business and it’s customers. Provide tracking information once the order is placed so shoppers can track their package at each stage of the delivery process.
Sabi Tolou, co-founder of Sendcloud explains, “Delivery expectations, inflation and staff shortages are pushing shipping providers to the edge. Bottlenecks are being created further down the line, and delivery experiences continue to decline as consumer wait times increase.” However, it is still the retailer’s responsibility to communicate clearly with consumers and solve such problem swiftly”.
69% of online shoppers have said that excessively high shipping costs are the biggest reasons why they abandon their carts. At the same time, 35% of retailers are increasing delivery prices to compensate for rising supply chain pressures, as well as increases in courier prices and other business costs.
There seems to be a disconnect between shopper expectations and retailers’ reality.
Options: for retailers and consumers
However, retailers should not jump to offering free shipping if it’s going to harm their bottom line. There are other options to benefit both retailers and consumers.
68% of shoppers are willing to add items to their cart for free shipping. Use this as an opportunity to unsell. You can also offer free ‘click and collect’ services, which adds no additional costs to the retailer if you simply ‘ship from store’, and offers another chance to upsell in store.
The key is to offer multiple reliable courier options for consumers so they can make the decision to spend money for faster, more convenient delivery service. This naturally means retailers will be working with multiple carriers which reduces impact to your business if a single carrier experiences disruptions to their service. For example, Royal Mail’s strike action this quarter and their need to potentially cut a further 10,000 jobs by next August will put businesses who use Royal Mail exclusively in a very difficult position.
Currently, 12% of UK shoppers will abandon their cart is their preferred delivery company cannot be chosen at checkout. This number is expected to rise as more consumers suffer from poor delivery experience and feel the need to choose the delivery service they trust to quickly and reliably deliver their package. This is another reason retailers must offer multiple shipping options.
In summary, retailers who offer multiple delivery options including click and collect will be able to offer the best delivery service these two crucial months leading up to Christmas. It will help close the gap between consumer expectations and what retailers are able to offer as consumers can choose delivery options that are most convenient for them.